Netarhat: 9 reasons to soon visit this most underrated hill station of India
Isn’t life strange??
One keeps looking for happiness everywhere, all through his life. But at the fag end of it, they find it where they had never thought it could be: inside themselves.
Traveller’s life is no different.
How many times have we seen people cris-crossing different parts of the globe but without finding the elusive “Traveller’s Joy"?
And that too when it’s somewhere very close.
It is easy for people to waste their hard-earned money on heavily commoditised tourist spots.
Some have been tinkered with so much that they have lost their originality. They have become something else.
In the midst of this mindless globe-trotting, we miss the gems close-by.
Netarhat, a forgotten hilly town in the Indian state of Jharkhand is one such gem.
It's untouched, exotic, and heavenly.
Also known as the “Queen of Jharkhand”, it's a less known hill station and has everything a city man craves deep inside his heart.
Peace…Peace….and, more Peace.
Both inside and outside.
If you would like to get away from the Hustle bustle of the city life and enjoy nature in its purest form, then Netarhat is the Place to be.
Must view Spots
1.Magnolia Sunset Point
The history of this place has been written with love.
♥ Ever has it been that love knows not its own depth until the hour of separation. ― Kahlil Gibran
As is the legend, Magnolia (daughter of a decorated British officer) fell deeply in love with a local black shepherd.Feeling shame for letting his daughter mix with a local black subject, her father tried to persuade the shepherd to forget her. But when, neither persuasion nor threats worked, he got the shepherd killed.
But, he was unaware of the depth of their love. Magnolia, for whom this black shepherd was her life, couldn't bear this loss and killed herself by jumping off a cliff with her horse.
To commemorate their love, a statue of the horse, murals of the failed couple and a plaque depicting the tale is placed there.
Apart from being a major attraction for love-birds, this place also provides a dreamy view of the sunset.
Imagine yourself sitting 1100 meter up in the sky, amidst chirping birds, with clouds touching your body. Majestic sun going down, bit by bit, colouring the sky in many hues.
Heavenly! Isn’t it??
If at 1100 metres, sunset is fascinating, imagine the sunrise!!
The best hotel to stay in Netarhat is Hotel Prabhat Vihar- a Jharkhand Tourism Development Corporation property.
Many people also know Hotel Prabhat Vihar as “The Sunrise Point”. This is because its terrace provides the highest vantage point in Netarhat to watch the sunrise.
Do share your experience of Sunrise in the comment section.
The place is still predominantly a tribal area and is a habitat of primitive tribal community Asurs, who are on the verge of extinction.
Asurs trace their lineage to demon Mahishasura whom Goddess Durga had killed in a nine-day battle.
They live in windowless mud-houses with walls painted with natural colors.
I. These asuras have lived in isolation for thousands of years. Don’t expect them to be very friendly on seeing jeans and camera clad people. Take the help of a local guide.
II.Ask for permission before taking photographs of tribal people.
4.Springs & waterfalls
Four Waterfalls are worth visiting.
Upper Ghaghri Falls
Located 4 kilometres from Netarhat, it is a small waterfall, below Netarhat Dam.
Lying amidst the forest, it's super easy to find. Just follow the sound of the water falling and you here you are.
This fall is known for a musical rhythm in the sound of its falling water. This makes the surrounding musical.
Here You will find many monkeys. Don’t mess with them or they will chase you all around the forest.
It is another 4km away from here.
You can find many orchards growing pears (nashpati).
Having a height of 320 ft, it’s also located in a dense forest region. The forests around are so dense that even sun rays find it tough to penetrate them.
Nature is at its best here.
Here you can find a combination of multiple falls at one place amidst a picturesque dense virgin forest.
Easily approachable by road, there is a small trek to the foothills of the fall.
Must see for nature lovers and photographers.
It is one of the highest waterfalls in India. Being hidden by dense forests, its trail is a fun-feast for groups.
A popular picnic spot, its roaring sounds can be heard upto a distance of 10 Kms.
Near Lodh Falls, there is a historical Budha temple.
Melodious voice of chirpy birds emanating from nearby dense forest makes the environment all the more musical.
I. To reach both waterfalls, you will have to leave the car behind and walk through the forest for a few kilometers.
II. Height and breadth of the waterfalls of these falls esp. Sadni fall is very wide. So, photo-enthusiasts should take appropriate camera lens.
III. Waterfalls can be slippery. Take care.
About 2km from the Netarhat bus stand is a dam built during the British period. Surrounded by hills, it is a popular picnic point.
6.Betla National Park
Betla stands as an acronym for Bison, Elephant, Tiger, Leopard and Axis.
Located close to Netarhat, Betla National park is a major tourist attraction. It’s a adobe for several varieties of wildlife.
Here, you can observe wildlife from a close range.
To travel around, Private jeep safaris are available at the park gate. Besides, you can also hire a local guide.
Elephant safaris consisting of two elephants can also be hired. It will give a better opportunity of wildlife spotting. Picture clicking will become easier too.
What makes this park stand out from the rest is the presence of two forts inside its premises. Though, It is open through out the year, the best time to visit is November to April.
The best month for tiger spotting is May as at that time the forest cover is less dense and also animals venture out to look for water sources.
7.Koel view point
It offers a clear view of the River Koel.
Presence of dense pine forest makes the setting panoramic. You can spend two days in seclusion here.
You can also visit Maromar village from here, where there is a good forest Guest house lying inside green, lush forests. During British Era, it was used by hunters for night stay.
I would recommend you to spend at least a night here in full seclusion amongst the most pristine nature’s lap.
If you want to experience what real forests look alike, Netarhat is the place to be.
Here you will know what pure air really is!
The oxygen coming from nearby dense forests will be totally different from the polluted city air.
For the first time in my life, I consciously enjoyed the routine act of breathing.
The beauty of Pine trees, Bamboo trees, Sal trees and in between view of the lake will take your breath away. The smell of deodar and cheed pine in the air and the raisin flowing out from the lac tree will also seem other-worldly.
If you have some spare time, I will strongly tell you to visit Netarhat Vidyalaya.
It’s not just a school, but a repository of Indian Guru-shisya-Parampara.
Having given many illuminaries to this country, it shows you a sample of India’s ancient Gurukul System.
Almost all its management, ranging from schooling to fooding is managed by students themselves.
1. You won’t find many chemist shops here. Those on medication should bring their own medicines. Also carry mosquito/insect repellents.
2. Accommodation options are not too many. Of what there are, Hotel Prabhat Vihar and Dak Bunglow are the best ones.
3. Few villages but all are in forest. Safety is also an issue. Staying in JTDC hotel is a bit safer than the other local hotels. One should book it in advance.
4. Local language. Local tribal people have their own language. They can’t understand Hindi/English.
5. Loneliness. The unusual peace of this place can get on your nerves. While, there are others who revel in it.
6. Wild animals from dense forests are a recurrent threat.
7. Cars with good ground clearance are an advantage on uneven terrain. 170-180 mm ground clearance is a bare minimum.
8. As it is an off-beat tourist destination, it is advisable not to stray into deserted areas even when you are traveling in a group.
9. Cell phone connectivity is poor to non-existent. Always be with your team.
10. Local auto is less. So, be ready to trek long distances.
11. Naxal threat. You can find some spooky characters. Don’t entertain them.
Come visit Netarhat in it's most pristine form before it’s too late.